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Brazil holds key rate; Matba-Rofex merger vote delayed


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Brazil holds key rate; Matba-Rofex merger vote delayed

* Banco Central do Brasil's monetary policy committee unanimously decided to keep its benchmark Selic rate at 6.50% per annum. The committee said "various measures of underlying inflation are running at appropriate or comfortable levels," including the "most sensitive" components for business and monetary policy.

* Argentine stock market operator Bolsas y Mercados Argentinos SA refused to give quorum at a meeting of the Mercado A Termino De Buenos Aires SA, at which members were due to vote on a merger between the futures exchange in the capital with Rofex SA, its counterpart in the city of Rosario, El Cronista reported. By refusing to give quorum, BYMA succeeded in delaying the vote, though another meeting was scheduled for Dec. 27.


* Fitch Ratings revised the outlook on Dominican Republic-based Asociacion Duarte De Ahorros Y Prestamos' long-term national rating to negative from stable. The outlook change reflects operating losses incurred as a result of higher credit costs, the rating agency said.


* The incoming CEO of state-run Banco do Brasil SA, Rubem Novaes, said he would name new vice presidents to serve at the institution next week and said that the bank's current chief executive, Marcelo Labuto, would continue to work at the bank, Valor Econômico reported.


* Moody's upgraded the national-scale insurance financial strength ratings of La Boliviana Ciacruz de Seguros y Reaseguros SA and La Boliviana Ciacruz Seguros Personales to from The upgrade is based on the companies' continuously improving business and financial profiles.

* Fitch Ratings downgraded Venezuela-based Banesco Banco Universal CA's viability rating to "c" from "cc" reflecting a sharp decline in capitalization ratios and subsequently withdrew it. Fitch also withdrew the long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings of CC, and short-term currency ratings of C. The long- and short-term national ratings of A-(ven) and F1(ven) were maintained on negative watch and similarly withdrawn.


* Argentina issued $850 million of dollar-denominated treasury notes known as Letes, Reuters reported, citing the Treasury Ministry. The notes mature in June 2019 and carry an annual interest rate of 4.75%.

* The default rate for loans to the private sector in Argentina reached 2.6% in October, up 0.3 percentage point from the previous month and 0.8 percentage point from a year earlier, Clarín reported, citing central bank data.

* Argentina's government published in the official gazette the names of three new directors at state-run Banco de la Nación Argentina, Clarín reported. It said Guillermo Goldberg, Javier Okseniuk and Marcelo Pose were appointed to fill the posts vacated by the resignation of three board members back in November.

* Banco De Desarrollo De América Latina launched a $500 million fund to finance infrastructure projects in Uruguay, El Observador reported.

* Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA is following other Chilean banks by setting a limit of 250,000 Chilean pesos on first-time fund transfers from customer accounts to new recipients, La Tercera reported. The measure is a response to concerns over fraud and cyber attacks.

* Chilean lawmakers have passed a motion asking the government to launch talks with Banco del Estado de Chile to put an end to charges associated with its CuentaRUT account, Diario Financiero reported. The backers of the bill said they wanted to see if the commissions could be reduced without affecting the bank's viability.

* A Chilean labor court will hear a complaint presented by a trade union representing staff at Banco Ripley SA for alleged anti-union behavior, Diario Financiero reported. The union had accused the bank of excluding unrepresented employees from the benefits of a collective wage agreement.


* Moody's said its outlook for the Latin American banking system is stable for 2019, reflecting a stabilizing operating environment as growth recovers and political uncertainty clears up. The rating agency expects contained credit costs, strong efficiency and higher loan growth to support profitability and capital.

* José Antonio García Belaunde has been appointed the new representative of the Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina in Europe, El Comercio reported, citing a statement. He replaces Guillermo Fernández Soto.


* Asia-Pacific: Anbang sells 35% stake in local bank; Bandhan Bank gets nod to open 40 branches

* Middle East & Africa: Malaysian lender eyes merger with Al Rajhi unit; Ghana's banks race against time

* Europe: UK's May wins vote; Unicaja, Liberbank confirm deal talks; GAM sees CHF925M loss

Helen Popper contributed to this article.

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